Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA) and ADHD

School avoidance can affect many students for various reasons but with our children with ADHD, it is extremely commonplace. Previously termed School Refusal the correct term is now Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA). I prefer this term as it highlights the fact that the child is experiencing emotional distress about attending school, rather than simply refusing. (EBSA excludes physical illnesses preventing a child from attending school, truancy or parent-condoned absences). I work with a few children who experience EBSA, and watching their struggle can be heartbreaking. Another set of initials that affect our children with ADHD. Signs of Emotionally Based School Avoidance,…

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Is ADHD a Learning Disability?

In the UK, ADHD is not considered a learning disability. More a learning difficulty due to the symptoms that ADHD causes a child such as focus issues, poor organisational skills and attention difficulties. These challenges can make it tough for students to focus on tasks and assignments in a classroom setting, resulting in lower academic performance overall. Learning Disorders or Disabilities are neurological, making reading, writing, spelling and maths difficult. Just for clarification, a disorder is a medical term whilst a disability is a legal term and are often used interchangeably depending on the context. Learning disabilities are not due to vision…

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ADHD: Mainstream or Specialist School?

Have you ever had to make the difficult decision of choosing a school setting, mainstream or specialist, for your child with ADHD who has an EHCP? If so, you are not alone. This is a common challenge that many parents face. An EHCP, or Education, Health and Care Plan, is a legal document that outlines the special educational needs of a child and the support they require. When creating an EHCP, parents are often asked to specify the school setting that would best suit their child's needs. This decision can be particularly challenging because it requires careful consideration of various factors, such…

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Comorbidities of ADHD

Approximately half of all people with ADHD suffer from another condition. This is known as a comorbidity. Sometimes comorbidities are considered 'secondary' or triggered by ADHD. For example, a child could be particularly depressed because they are constantly being told off for being impulsive or not being able to focus on the task at hand. This will generally subside once the ADHD is diagnosed and treated. When the problems don't resolve this is when a condition is considered comorbid or standalone, a diagnosis in itself. The condition is both chronic and pervasive. That means they were noticed early on in childhood and…

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ADHD and Dysgraphia in children

ADHD and Dysgraphia can both impact a child's ability to learn. ADHD is a condition that impacts a person's ability to focus and stay on task. Dysgraphia is a condition that impacts a person's ability to write correctly. Children who have ADHD and dysgraphia may struggle in school and may have difficulty completing assignments or taking tests. Approximately 31-45% of children with ADHD have a learning disorder such as Dysgraphia, and vice versa (Sage Journals). My daughter has ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia. What is Dysgraphia? Dysgraphia is a condition that affects a person's ability to write correctly. The word dysgraphia comes from…

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10 Things I wish people understood about ADHD

There are so many things I have learned since parenting my children with ADHD. It's been a learning curve of a journey! Having children with ADHD obviously means I research, a lot. I've uncovered so many things I had absolutely no idea about ADHD. Learning about the physical differences in the ADHD brain. Connecting the many comorbidities of ADHD. and so much more. I cringe at some of the things I never knew, and thankfully now do. But, if I had to write a list of my top 10 things I wish people understood about ADHD I think this would be them.…

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ADHD and Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is often thought of as dyslexia with numbers.  It is a learning disorder involving numbers and concepts relating to numbers.  What was shocking to read is that about 60% of children with ADHD also have another learning disorder such as dyscalculia.  This figure is only about 5% in neurotypical (NT) children.  My daughter has ADHD and dyscalculia, so I really wanted to try and understand exactly what it is, hence this post. What is Dyscalculia? Dyscalculia is a maths learning disorder.  This involves difficulties with not only everyday numbers but also maths symbols (addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication), wording (one more…

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ADHD and Pre-school Children

Parenting a pre-school child is damn hard, (to be fair parenting full stop is damn hard!).  Their short attention spans and energy levels leave any parent exhausted. But when should you be concerned that maybe you are not just dealing with a child full of beans and the dreaded ‘terrible twos’ and that maybe it is something more? Maybe it is ADHD? Symptoms of ADHD and Pre-school Children Let us look at the symptoms of ADHD in school-age children to start: Inability to stay focussed on one activity. Difficulty completing a task before moving on to another; bored or frustrated by it.…

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ADHD and Anxiety

As I have learnt, ADHD has high comorbidity rates with many other disorders; depression, ODD (oppositional defiance disorder), OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), dyslexia, and dyscalculia to name but a few.  Anxiety is one of these linked to ADHD, with a 25% comorbidity rate.  However, anxiety disorders are difficult to recognise as anxiety is often internalized and unless the level of anxiety causes weight loss, sleeplessness or perhaps the refusal to go to school etc, it can often go unmissed.  This can then lead to poor concentration in school or restlessness which can be interpreted as a sign of ADHD.  So, is it ADHD…

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ADHD in children and ‘bad’ behaviour

I hate when children with ADHD are labelled as ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’ children.  I literally want to scream from the rooftops that their behaviour is normal for ADHD.  That their behaviour is their way of communicating what they are feeling.  For our children with ADHD, they have difficulties with impulse control.  Toddlers do for example.  They will throw themselves on the floor when they have simply had enough.  Sometimes when I have had enough, I would like to do this and thrash about a little, but luckily for me, I have impulse control and I can recognise that this would be inappropriate. …

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